9 days in California Itinerary

9 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in California Itinerary

Start: Austin
Drive:  25​h
1
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Cambria
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Carmel
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  7​h 45​min
4
Redwood National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  31​h 15​min
End: Austin

2
nights
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Meditation Mount, immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Douglas Family Preserve, then trek along Cabrillo Bike Path, and finally learn about winemaking at Fess Parker. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon): admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, look for all kinds of wild species at Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, do a tasting at Stolpman Vineyards, then do a tasting at Carhartt Vineyard, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens.

To find where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara day trip planning site .

Austin to Santa Barbara is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Austin to Santa Barbara. In December in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 67°F during the day and 41°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Los Olivos, Old Mission Santa Ines, Carpinteria State Beach, Meditation Mount
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Carhartt Vineyard ©
Carhartt Vineyard
Old Mission Santa Ines ©
Old Mission Santa Ines

2
nights
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): stroll through Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, stroll through Moonstone Beach, grab your bike and head to Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, then visit a coastal fixture at Point San Luis Lighthouse, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Cambria Cemetery, and finally take in the history at Mission San Antonio de Padua. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Wed): enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station, tour the pleasant surroundings at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Morro Strand State Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Leffingwell Landing, then make a trip to Nitt Witt Ridge, and finally do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery.

For ratings, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Cambria trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Cambria takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Cambria, with lows of 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Avila Beach, San Simeon, Morro Strand State Beach, Mission San Antonio de Padua
Highlights from your plan
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Mission San Antonio de Padua ©
Mission San Antonio de Padua

1
night
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. On the 26th (Thu), get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, then take in the history at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Carmel Mission.

To see traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Carmel online day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Cambria to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Cambria in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Carmel, with lows of 43°F. On the 26th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Redwood National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Historic Sites Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Pacific Grove
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission ©
Carmel Mission ©
Carmel Mission

2
nights
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park is home to a tremendous collection of the world's tallest type of tree.
On the 27th (Fri), make a trip to Big Tree, delve into the lush surroundings at Tall Trees Grove, then kick back and relax at Enderts Beach, and finally explore the striking landscape of Redwood National Park. On the next day, trek along California Coastal Trail and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Trillium Falls Hike.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Redwood National Park holiday maker website .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Carmel to Redwood National Park. Traveling from Carmel in December, you will find days in Redwood National Park are a bit cooler (55°F), and nights are about the same (40°F). On the 28th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Redwood National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Big Tree
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Enderts Beach ©
Enderts Beach
Trillium Falls Hike ©
Trillium Falls Hike

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